‘Gomorrah 3’ TV Series Soars to Top of Italian Theatrical Box Office Prior to TV Outing (EXCLUSIVE)

ROME – Two episodes of gritty mob show “Gomorrah 3” have shot to No. 1 at the Italian box office after pay-TV operator Sky Italia, trying out a new distribution strategy, put them in cinemas before broadcasting them on the small screen. The episodes earned four times as much in theaters as freshly released feature film “Borg/McEnroe.”

Sky Italia used its new Vision Distribution theatrical distribution arm to launch Episodes 1 and 3 of “Gomorrah 3” in 350 Italian movie theaters Tuesday for a two-day run, before the latest season of the crime saga begins airing Friday on its Sky Atlantic channel.

On Wednesday, “Gomorrah 3,” which features a new generation of Neapolitan mobsters, was already in the top slot at the local box office, scoring more than 29,000 admissions and grossing €261.841 ($308,000), ahead of Italian drama “The Place,” which took €137.553 ($161,000), according to box office compiler Cinetel.

“Gomorrah 3” remained No. 1 on Thursday. The Sky show has now earned more than €500,000 in two days, which is five times as much over the same period as “Thor: Ragnarok,” albeit in its third frame, and four times the take of new entry “Borg/ McEnroe.”

Sky Italia content chief Andrea Scrosati told Variety that the two-day experiment is a game-changer. “It’s a completely new revenue stream for pay-TV and a great marketing strategy,” he said, adding: “Everybody in the value chain is getting a benefit.”

Scrosati underlined that Sky was able to implement this strategy in Italy thanks to its Vision Distribution subsidiary, which it launched this summer together with five Italian productions companies, including “Gomorrah” production shingle Cattleya. He noted that the “Gomorrah 3” theatrical launch is part of broader plans “to approach windowing rules in a completely new and innovative way.”

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